Valerie Jean Johnson is the former Managing Editor of Poetry Magazine. A Chicago-based writer and director, her most recent stage work was 2011’s “All Your Paths in a Single Pocket,” a collaborative performance inspired by and sourced from Anna Kamienska’s “Notebooks” as translated by Clare Cavanagh . She is the recipient of the 2002 KC/ACTF National 10-minute Play Award and the Dad’s Garage Theatre’s 8½ x 11 Playwrighting Residency. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, she was a contributing performance writer with New City from 2006-2011, served as a production intern at Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in New York City, and has trained with Goat Island, SITI Company, Chicago Dramatists, and Perishable Theatre.
Jason Lee Brown teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University and is a contributing editor to River Styx. He has received awards from the Illinois Arts Council, Academy of American Poets, and the Illinois Press Association.
Allison Joseph is the author of What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand, 1992), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon, 1997), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon, 2003) and Worldy Pleasures (Word Press, 2004). Honors include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry. She is editor of Crab Orchard Review and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual summer residential creative writing workshop for high school writers. She holds the Judge Williams Holmes Cook Endowed Professorship and is director of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Jon Tribble is the editor of Crab Orchard Review and its Series in Poetry published by Southern Illinois University Press. He is the recipient of a 2003 Artist Fellowship Award in Poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, and his poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, Poetry, Crazyhorse, Quarterly West, and The Jazz Poetry Anthology. He was selected as the 2001 winner of the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize from Sarah Lawrence College. He teaches creative writing and literature and directs undergraduate and graduate students in internships and independent studies in editing and literary publishing for the Department of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Born in Tunisia, Colette grew up in France before moving to America to begin her art career in New York City. Art critics have credited Colette’s innovative street performances in the 1970s with bringing public attention to the avant-garde art form. Additionally, Colette’s multimedia installations in Manhattan, Berlin, and Rome conveyed decisive attention to the genre. Colette has been widely recognized for her influence on Pop culture, including manifestations in the personas of Madonna and Lady Gaga. Colette’s work has taken on many themes, from mythological archetypes to dramatic fantasies to celebrations of the feminine and the divine. She is well known for the elaborate fabric environments she creates, and her installation in the Brinkerhoff Mansion on the Benedictine University at Springfield campus included live models and a transformative tribute to Laboratoire Lumiere.